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Ward and Mack - Free Agents

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So we all know TJ Ward and Alex Mack are scheduled to be free agents of some kind at the end of the season; we also know the Browns have the cash to resign both of them to healthy contracts. I'm sure Banner/Lombardi would like to keep them - the question is, how much?

 

In terms of safeties, you have a definite top tier of players, earning around the $6-7m mark:

Troy PolamaluatSafety $7,500,000
Eric BerryatSafety $7,009,000
Antrel RolleatSafety $7,000,000
Jairus ByrdatSafety $6,916,000 - franchise tag
Eric WeddleatSafety $6,000,000

 

Would you rank Ward in that bracket? The next area is around $4-4.5m, so a reasonable saving. Would you give Ward the big money?

 

Mack's already in the top 5 in the league, but is still a ways behind being the top earner:

 

Scott Wells $5,500,000

Max UngeratCenter $4,900,000

Jeremy ZuttahatCenter $3,875,000

Alex MackatCenter $3,732,000

Chris MyersatCenter $3,500,000

 

Assuming Mack's contract counts towards this year's cap, we can give him a $1m bump and still not make a dent in the cap space. Ward is not making anything close to the top safeties right now - according to one site I found he's on $600k this year. So that would be a sizeable dent. Question is, do you give them the elite money?

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Ward, absolutely. The guy is going to be a baller for a long time, and he's a big part of why our defense is so nasty. Mack is an outstanding talent, maybe the best in the NFL, but the positional importance is pretty low. I agree with the 1m bump, but if he wants to be the top paid center in the league, let someone else do it.

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Ward needs to be re-signed, like NOW... but really he has had an awesome year and has earned every penny he can get in FA, and I hope the Browns give it to him. He also has a close relationship with Haden, and re-signing him will give us more ammo to extend Haden as well.

 

Mack has been such a solid C. A position that is 2nd important on the line, next to blindside T. He is durable and fundamentally sound. Very few penalties, and I can't remember a botched snap... he keeps DTs out of the QBs face and has been doing it well. I give him as much $ as he wants b/c he also deserves it...

 

Letting either of these guys leave would be a huge mistake, especially considering all the cap room we have... They are key pieces to the long-term success of this team...

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Id say we offer Ward about 5.5 mill a year and go ahead and give Mack a bump too. Hopefully we can at least get one locked up so we can franchise the other if we xant get em both extended.

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I'd like to keep both but Banner had a reputation of being cheap as hell in Philly

Can't be cheap with the new CBA, and they have to get close to the cap this offseason to meat CBA requirements.

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Can't be cheap with the new CBA, and they have to get close to the cap this offseason to meat CBA requirements.

But that doesn't mean throwing money around at people who the FO doesn't think are worthy.

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But that doesn't mean throwing money around at people who the FO doesn't think are worthy.

You don't think Mack and Ward are worth it? I think it almost a no brainer. Itll be very difficult to find upgrades in FA or the draft. I guess morr than anything it comes down to whether they believe the positions they play are worthy. If they can put most of the guaranteed money in the deal on next year and keep the future protected then its a win-win.

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They need to keep both, the Browns are so close to serious contention that letting them go would create new holes that need to be filled and slow the teams progress. I'm hoping they both care more about sticking with a team on the upswing than they care about being paid top dollar for their position.

 

Can't the FO franchise tag one of them?

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Mack? Absolutely a must sign... the guy grades out on par with JT game in and out.

 

Ward? Sorry, but disagree with sentiment so far. He may be a top 10 SS, but not top 5.

Yes, he plays the run well, but pass coverage is not good.

And then there's the injury history...

Make him an offer, yes, but don't go overboard.

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You don't think Mack and Ward are worth it? I think it almost a no brainer. Itll be very difficult to find upgrades in FA or the draft. I guess morr than anything it comes down to whether they believe the positions they play are worthy. If they can put most of the guaranteed money in the deal on next year and keep the future protected then its a win-win.

I think we should keep them, definitely. But if Ward says he wants $10m a year, knowing we have cap space, you'd tell him where to go. Point being, the FO will have a valuation of these players in mind, and Banner doesn't seem to be the type to go beyond that valuation, just because the money's there.

 

If it were up to me, I'd be frontloading contracts for these two, giving them the big money they want, but this year only, so that they're not a burden to the cap in future years. Get them both on 5 year contracts and forget about finding a SS or C for a long time.

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Ward already said he wants to stay in Cleveland, and again part of his value is his relationship with Haden. If he stays, Haden stays. Plus, he's a top 10 safety, considering our other two safeties were UDFAs, and our 4th is a rookie who hasn't done squat... pretty important guy to keep around, plus due to the injuries and sitting he is just hitting his prime... pay the man!

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They need to keep both, the Browns are so close to serious contention that letting them go would create new holes that need to be filled and slow the teams progress. I'm hoping they both care more about sticking with a team on the upswing than they care about being paid top dollar for their position.

 

Can't the FO franchise tag one of them?

 

 

They can and they will if they have to- most likely Mack, as there have been rumors he wants to leave. They also can if I'm not mistaken, use the transition tag on the other- so if they walk, the Browns are entitled to draft pick compensation. Offer the top tender, and see if other teams are interested. Cross your fingers Ward will take a hometown discount to stick around.

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Ward, absolutely. The guy is going to be a baller for a long time, and he's a big part of why our defense is so nasty. Mack is an outstanding talent, maybe the best in the NFL, but the positional importance is pretty low. I agree with the 1m bump, but if he wants to be the top paid center in the league, let someone else do it.

the center is a position of low importance? no way. if the jets didn't have nick mangold they'd have been shit for 7 years now.

 

i would resign ward for close to top five money but he is definitely not top five worthy. mack, give him a little more if he doesn't want to be here, then that solves the problem of who we pick first.

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Ward has pissed me off in the past with his half assed attempts at tackling whiffing at a guys legs and not wrapping up but he has really been playing lights out lately and coming into his own in this D, got to lock him up.

 

Mack kinda worries me we should have signed him to an extension... I got a feeling Banner might let him walk.. one thing to keep in mind.. and correct me if I'm wrong here but if we were to have to franchise Mack we'd have to pay him according to the average O-Lineman salary not specifically Center average.. if so that might be too big of a price tag to pay.

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I like both players. Ward stated he wants to stay and Mack has been rumored on not liking Cleveland. Offer both more money but I would not dump a whole crap load of money on them. Ward has been hit and miss this season in his play. Mack has been solid.

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Ward has pissed me off in the past with his half assed attempts at tackling whiffing at a guys legs and not wrapping up but he has really been playing lights out lately and coming into his own in this D, got to lock him up.

 

Mack kinda worries me we should have signed him to an extension... I got a feeling Banner might let him walk.. one thing to keep in mind.. and correct me if I'm wrong here but if we were to have to franchise Mack we'd have to pay him according to the average O-Lineman salary not specifically Center average.. if so that might be too big of a price tag to pay.

 

Nope, it's starting centers. It's somewhat position centric. It is guards\guards, tackles\tackles. Though no one would ever franchise a fullback anymore- they wouldn't get paid like Adrian Peterson.

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Nope, it's starting centers. It's somewhat position centric. It is guards\guards, tackles\tackles. Though no one would ever franchise a fullback anymore- they wouldn't get paid like Adrian Peterson.

 

You sure about that? Only info I could find on it is Wiki and this article, both saying Offensive Lineman as one group @ 9.8 million.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franchise_tag

 

 

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000146214/article/nfl-nflpa-release-franchise-tag-numbers

 

 

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1553248-nfl-franchise-tag-2013-explaining-rules-types-and-values-for-every-position

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Yes all linebackers, dlineman and o lineman are grouped up. Which is bullshit consodering the tag for a center would be approximately 6 mill where it would cost us 10 mill the way its setup now. Lets hope we can get Mack extended.

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Throw 6 mil a year at Mack and hope he stays, we need him. As I type this it hits me yet again that an athlete (entertainer) makes at times 20 to 30 times what a Cardiologist (or insert other) makes. My brain wanders at times, but that is pretty ridiculous to me

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Yes all linebackers, dlineman and o lineman are grouped up. Which is bullshit consodering the tag for a center would be approximately 6 mill where it would cost us 10 mill the way its setup now. Lets hope we can get Mack extended.

 

True, but for franchise tags the offer must be either the lesser of the group's top 5 salary average or 120% of the player's prior year salary. So you can buy one year for a 20% bump in salary. Then there's the whole exclusive and non-exclusive negotiating rights subcategories. Non-exclusive gets you the right of first refusal to match offer or picks, if you decide not to match. Exclusive means you guarantee to piss your player off completely.

 

For the transition tag the offer is either the greater of the average of the top ten salaries in the group or 120% of prior year. And you get get right of first refusal, etc...

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Make them restricted free agents, use your 1rst and 2nd round tender on both of them. This will give us a chance to match any offer and also give us compensation if they leave.

 

I think we finally have management and coaches who know what they are doing. Keeping a team together especially good locker room guys who are young and quality players should be our goal.

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